German Potato Pancakes Recipe

Rating 5.0
| 1
German potato pancakes — or Kartoffelpuffer — are crisp and golden fried pancakes with a tender potato center. These potato pancakes are surprisingly simple to make and delicious served with applesauce or sour cream.
Utensils Appetizer
Globe German
Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, cookbook author, and food writer who graduated from The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She runs the seasonal food blog, Parsnips and Pastries, and is author of The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook.


1 lb
russet potatoes
1/4 cup(s)
grated onions
2-3 tblsp
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, for frying
fresh dill, for garnish
sour cream or applesauce, for serving

Directions 5 steps | 25 Minutes

Step 1

Peel the potatoes and grate over a colander lined with cheesecloth.

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Step 2

Wrap the potatoes with the cheesecloth and firmly squeeze out any excess moisture.

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Step 3

Transfer grated potatoes to a bowl and mix with grated onions, egg, flour, salt and pepper until combined.

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Step 4

Heat 1/8" of oil in a large skillet until hot. Drop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot pan and flatten with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until crisp and golden.

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Step 5

Serve with a garnish of fresh dill and sour cream or applesauce on the side for dipping.

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What is the difference between potato pancakes and latkes?

In terms of texture, potato pancakes tend to be softer and fluffier than potato latkes, which are crispier. This is because the potatoes in the potato pancakes are grated on finer holes whereas potato latkes are shredded on larger holes. In terms of shape, potato pancakes tend to be more uniform and round whereas potato latkes are round but asymmetrical. 

How do you make potato pancakes crispy?

For crispy potato pancakes, make sure that the grated potatoes are well squeezed until dry. Potatoes, when grated, release a lot of liquid. A wet potato will not fry up crisp. Secondly, fry the potato pancakes at the correct temperature, around 365°F, to keep the potatoes from absorbing the oil. Finally, fry the potatoes in batches to avoid overcrowding. 

Why are my potato pancakes falling apart?

Using the correct ratio of ingredients will keep potato pancakes from falling apart. The culprit is moisture. If you followed the ingredients to a tee and your potato pancakes are still falling apart, try adding either a little more flour or breadcrumbs to absorb the excess liquid. 

What potatoes are similar to russet potatoes?

Russet potatoes are high starch potatoes that are known for their fluffy texture. Although not as starchy as a russet potato, Yukon Gold potatoes would work well as a substitute. This middle-of-the-road potato can be used just as a russet potato, except the resulting dish would be less fluffy and more creamy.

Nutrition Per Serving
View All
15.7 g
3 g
17.1 g


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Sarah D.


02 Aug 2022

Mmmm, love these!

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